Vodafone Epic Challenge Series - HEINEKEN Race to the Castle

26 - 27 June 2021

HEINEKEN Race to the Castle

Walk, jog or run this epic 100km Ultra Marathon in the stunning surroundings of the North East of England. From stretching moorland to winding rivers, ancient woodlands and a magnificent finish at Bamburgh Castle.

You will get the full experience, including unrivalled camaraderie from your fellow participants, fully-stocked pitstops laden with food and drink, an overnight Basecamp and tireless support from Threshold Sport staff and medics who will help you every step of the way.

Distance: 100km
Route: Kirkharle to Bamburgh Castle
Location: Northumberland, United Kingdom
Date: 26 – 27 June 2021
Entry Fee: £55
Fundraising Target: £350


Key Challenge Information


What date is the event?

The HEINEKEN Race to the Castle will take place on 26-27 June 2021.

Where is the event?

Start address: Kirkharle Courtyard, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE19 2PE

Basecamp (midway point and Day 2 start): Morwick Farm, Acklington, Morpeth NE65 9DG

Finish address: Bamburgh Castle, Bamburgh, NE69 7DF

How can I sign up?

Registration has now closed.


What is the cost to enter?

The Team Vodafone registration fee is £55.

When do I have to register by?

The closing date for registrations is 23:59 on 20 June 2021, unless the event sells out beforehand.

Is there a waiting list if the event sells out?

Yes, we will operate a waiting list.

If the event sells out, please contact epicchallengeseries@thresholdsports.co.uk to request a place on the waiting list. You will be contacted if a place becomes available.

What packages are available?

Weekender: The Weekender package covers 100km over the two days of the event. You will cover 50km on the Saturday, camp at the overnight basecamp in Acklington and set off again the following morning to do another 50km before finishing at Bamburgh Castle on Sunday. This package includes food throughout the weekend, accommodation and event support. This package is for both walkers and runners.


Non-stop: Participants on the non-stop package cover 100km in one go – all on the Saturday/early hours of Sunday. The Non-stop package includes a meal at the halfway Basecamp, full pitstop support throughout the night and hot food at the finish line. There is a time limit of 24 hours to complete the route, and it is open to both walkers and runners.

Which event category would suit me best?

One of the key factors in preparing for an Ultra is committing your time. Epic Challenges require dedication and HEINEKEN Race to the Castle will see you spend a lot of time on your feet pre-event in order to build up the necessary strength and stamina.

If you’re coming to the training plans we offer with under 20 weeks to go, here’s some advice on the fitness levels we advise prior to signing up to each challenge:


  • Non-stop runner: those with some Ultra experience and/or who have run a good number of marathons before. You are an experienced runner with years of running in their legs.


  • Non-stop walker: strong walkers who have done some long distance walking before and who already walk most weekends at a good pace for 5hrs+. You may have experience of walking holidays.


  • Weekender runner: those who have completed a number of marathons and have been running consistently for a number of years.


  • Weekender walker: avid walkers who are already comfortable walking 15km on two back-to-back days.


Can friends and family participate?

Friends and Family of Vodafone Group employees are welcome to take part on the event!

Friends and family are eligible to sign up for the exact same packages as Vodafone Group employees, and will be subject to the same Entry Fee costs and Fundraising targets.

If you’re not a Vodafone Group employee but interested in taking part, email connectingforgood@vodafone,com

Event Rules and Regulations

View the Event Rules and Regulations here


Where will the route take place?

You will be travelling from Kirkharle, Newcastle Upon Tyne to Bamburgh Castle.

N.B. The route may be be subject to change

Route map

You can explore the route here.


What kind of training will I be expected to do?

Anyone can give their first Ultra a go with the right kind of training!

Please see these bespoke training plans below which contain lots of tips and advice*



*Be sure to start on the week that aligns with your current capabilities – do not jump straight to the current week unless you know you can cover the distances without shocking your system. Start towards the beginning of the programme and steadily increase your mileage using the 4 week block structure

On The Day

Event Day Booklet

Our Event Day Booklet has all the information you need to know including: our COVID-19 mitigation measures, your pre-event check list, the start line process, wave and shuttle times, pit stops and exclusive partner deals.

Getting to the event

All participants will be expected to make their own way to the event.

Shuttles & Parking

Shuttles and parking are now available to book via your MyEvents Portal under, ‘Additional Purchases’.

Further information and available options can be found in the document below:

Shuttles and Parking Information 2021

What's included in my ticket?

The following will be provided:

  • Accommodation on the Weekender package – please note, this will be camping in a 2-person tent, although tents will be assigned one per person*
  • Team Vodafone Kit: 1 x technical t-shirt
  • Food and drinks at pitstops, as well as a meal in the overnight basecamp and breakfast for the Weekender package on Sunday
  • Sports nutrition
  • Medical support throughout the event and in basecamps
  • Access to halfway basecamp – bars, stretching area, concessions and acoustic music
  • Premium completion medal

*Please note, camping mats, sleeping bags and pillows are not included

Food and Drink

Pit Stops

There are 4 pit stops throughout each 50km section of the route to give you a chance to refresh and refuel. Each pit stop will have a selection of snacks for all participants including a variety of sweet and savoury options, such as fruit, energy bars, crisps, sweets and more.



  • Evening meals (all participants)

Food is available at the overnight basecamp for all participants. This includes non-stop participants, who are able to have a hot meal before carrying on to the finish line. Food provided may include but is not limited to: hot pasta, baked potatoes, sandwiches, salad, fruit and on the go snacks.

  • Breakfast (weekender only)

Breakfast will be provided for Weekender participants on Sunday morning, which will consist of hot drinks, fresh fruit, toast, porridge and cooked breakfast i.e. bacon, eggs, beans.


 Dietary Requirements

There will be a variety of food at pit-stops and at basecamp that cater for everyone including gluten free, diary free, and meat-free and vegan options.

There will be a section on the registration form for you to provide dietary details, but if you have any specific requests and would like to talk about this specifically please get in touch on epicchallengeseries@thresholdsports.co.uk.


Sports Nutrition

All sports nutrition will be provided from HIGH5, Threshold Sports’ nutrition partner. We would recommend training with HIGH5 products so you are used to using them on the event.


Concession stalls

Concession stalls will be available at the start and finish line. These will be at your own cost so you will need to bring cash to buy the extra food.


There will be an unlimited supply of water whilst on the event.


What kit do I bring?

Click here to view the suggested kit list.


When will I receive my #TeamVodafone kit?

Your kit will be sent out to you in advance of the event.


Will my kit be transported for me?

 Yes, on the Weekender package your bag will be taken from the start to basecamp, and from the basecamp to the finish so you do not need to worry about transporting your kit.

For those on the Non-stop package your kit will be taken from the start directly to the finish.


Is there a baggage allowance?

There is a baggage limit of 10kg for the Weekender package, and 7kg for the Non-stop participants.


Support on the day

The route is fully supported from start to finish, with a signed route, well-stocked pit stops, medical support and even bag transport. Threshold Sports take care of everything so you can focus on reaching Bamburgh Castle.

There will be an event control team just on the other end of phone at all times if you have any problems.


How much do I have to fundraise?


If you are fundraising individually, your fundraising target is £350.

With a partner

If you are participating with a friend or family member who is not a Vodafone Group employee, you may combine your efforts, and your fundraising target will be £500.

All participants

  • You need to have raised 50% by 16 May 2021.
  • You need to have raised  the full amount by 6 August 2021.

It’s never too early to start fundraising! To set up your fundraising page, please visit this link.

Not sure where to start? Check out the Your Planet fundraising guide.

Where does my fundraising money go?

All money you raise is matched by Vodafone Foundation and channelled straight to the Foundation’s Your Planet Fund, to support charity programmes that are using conservation technology to protect our world. The two charities we are currently supporting through this campaign are:

Tusk: this UK based charity has a vision for a future in which people and wildlife can both thrive across Africa. Founded at the height of the last poaching crisis in Africa when 100,000 elephants were being slaughtered every year for ivory, they are on a mission to ensure we are not the generation that lets Africa’s unique wildlife disappear. Through progressive conservation initiatives using technology, the conservation of healthy habitats and involving local people in the solutions, Tusk are paving the way for a sustainable future for Africa’s incredible wildlife.

The Ocean Cleanup: this Netherlands based charity is working to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. If nothing is done, plastic pollution is set to quadruple by mid-century, impacting our ecosystems, health and economies. They are embarking on the biggest cleanup in history, aiming to remove 90% of floating ocean plastic pollution by 2040. On top of that, they’re developing advanced solutions to intercept plastic in rivers, to halt it before it can enter the ocean.


Email information

Here we will publish a list of the comms we’ve previously sent out so you can recap at your leisure:

1st – Welcome to HEINEKEN Race to the Castle 2021

2nd – Fundraising and Insurance 

3rd – Route and Logistics 

4th – The countdown is on

5th – Health & Safety reminders

6th – 1 week to go!

Covid-19 Updates


Threshold Sports are paying close attention to the following areas to ensure the best chance of delivering a safe event in 2021, without losing any of the traditional Threshold Trail Series magic.

  • Hygiene and distancing: Hands, Face, Space
  • Screening: pre and live event
  • Minimising impact on emergency services
  • Event permissions
  • Timely and concise communications to participants and stakeholders

This page will be updated weekly and will be the official source for announcements regarding the event.

Cancellation and Insurance

What if I can no longer take part?

If you can no longer take part in the event, you must tell us as soon as possible by emailing epicchallengeseries@thresholdsports.co.uk*

See below for the options available to you.

*Please note your entry fee is non-refundable.

Can I cancel my place?

If you want to cancel your place, please contact Threshold Sports via epicchallengeseries@thresholdsports.co.uk.

Please note that if you cancel your place, your entry fee and any fundraising donations are non-refundable.

Can I transfer my entry to another Epic Challenge Series event?

  • Participant Transfers to another Epic Challenge Series Event is on condition of availability and at the discretion of Vodafone Foundation.
  • If transferring to a higher priced Epic Challenge Series Event, Participants are required to pay the increase in Entry Fee.
  • Additional purchases which are no longer relevant to the new Event will be handled in accordance with the Event Rules and Regulations.
  • The deadline for requesting a transfer to another Event is 23:59 on 20 June 2021.

Can I transfer my place to a colleague?

  • Participant Transfers can only take place if the new Participant wishes to take the same Event Package.
  • Participants who transfer their Entry can be eligible for a full refund of all Entry Fees paid (minus the Booking Fee).
  • The original Entry Fee is not refunded until the new Participant accepts and completes the transfer process.
  • Additional purchases will be handled in accordance with the Event Rules and Regulations.
  • The deadline for a Participant Transfer is 23:59 on 20 June 2021.

What if I can't participate because of Covid?

If a participant needs to transfer Event due to Covid-19 related reasons, such as being subject to a local lockdown, international quarantine, a positive test or self-isolation requirement, the participant must notify Threshold by emailing epicchallengeseries@thresholdsports.co.uk by the time that on-site registration commences on the live event and provide evidence of the situation.

Can I change my package?

Yes, you may change package from Double Marathon Non-stop to Weekender including camping or vice versa if notice is given to Threshold Sports via email to epicchallengeseries@thresholdsports.co.uk.

The deadline for a Package Change is 23:59 on 20 June 2021.

Do I need to take out insurance?

Participants sign up to Epic Challenges as private individuals supporting Vodafone Foundation, not as Vodafone Group employees. You are therefore required to arrange your own insurance. Insurance is highly recommended. We advise taking out cover when your registration is confirmed. Please ensure you have the correct cover for this type of challenge.

If you would like to contact the Vodafone Foundation about the fundraising campaign or the Epic Challenge Series in general, please contact connectingforgood@vodafone.com.

If you have specific queries regarding individual challenges, you would like to cancel your place or swap to another challenge, please contact epicchallengeseries@thresholdsports.co.uk




Upgrade today so your friends and family can track your exact location during the event.



Having the right gear is key and adidas TERREX are here to help you. Find out what your perfect trails footwear is by using their Outdoor footwear finder.



Available to buy in lots of delicious flavours on Amazon Prime; online and instore at Sainsbury’s & Morrisons (free-from aisle) and ASDA and on the Perkier webshop!

Grab an EXTRA 20% OFF with TTS_2022 on Amazon or Perkier’s website



Use coupon code TRAILS2021 to get your HIGH5 Run Pack for only £7.50 now (50% off, excludes P&P).




Get 15% off online with THRESHOLD15 and just take proof of participation into store to redeem your discount!






Companies we've worked with
Charities we've worked with